Modifying supervisory practices to improve subunit safety: a leadership-based intervention model

J Appl Psychol. 2002 Feb;87(1):156-63. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.87.1.156.


This article presents a leadership-based intervention model designed to modify supervisory monitoring and rewarding of subordinates' safety performance. Line supervisors received weekly feedback based on repeated episodic interviews with subordinates conceming the cumulative frequency of their safety-oriented interactions. This information identified the priority of safety over competing goals such as speed or schedules. Section managers received the same information and used it to communicate (high) safety priority. They also were trained to conduct episodic interviews to provide intermittent feedback after intervention, tuming safety priority into an explicit performance goal. Safety-oriented interaction increased significantly in the experimental groups but remained unchanged in the control groups. This change in safety-oriented interaction was accompanied by significant (and stable) changes in minor-injury rate, earplug use, and safety climate scores during the postintervention period.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Employee Performance Appraisal*
  • Feedback
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Leadership*
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Safety*
  • Task Performance and Analysis